Hezekiah Oxford is a senior leader for the Warriors soccer team and is particularly vocal in the huddle before games.
Question: What is the most important thing a player needs to know when it comes to playing soccer?
Answer: Number one, you gotta be set. Spatial awareness and keeping your head on a swivel are the most important parts for me. Thinking about what you do before you do it. Trying to play three steps ahead.
Q: What would you tell any player around the world growing up wanting to play soccer?
A: The best training you can do is on your own. You just need a ball and that’s it. You can work on juggling which is great for your first touch. You can work on passes if you have a wall. Just put your mind to it.
Q: How did you get involved in playing soccer?
A: When I was 3 years old my dad put me into AYSO. He thought it would be fun and I fell in love with the sport. And after 15 years he has always been my coach.
Q: What is the best and worst part about playing your sport?
A: Making friendships for life is the best part. These guys are like my brothers. I’ve grown up with these guys since I was three or four years old. One down-side is losing. You train the whole week and when you hit the stage and you have a bad day is the worst.
Q: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
A: Hit the gym earlier. I should have started working out in 8th grade and that’s the one thing I tell everyone. Building my muscle mass and my speed on the field earlier would have been huge.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete ever?
A: I’m going cliché, Cristiano Ronaldo. He became pro when he was 17. Ronaldo is the epitome of how you need to train in order to achieve your goals.
Q: What is your favorite sport that you do not play?
A: Hockey. I like in that sport no matter what happens you can just hit people. You can get in a fight with someone and the refs will just let it go. You might get put in the penalty box for a few minutes, but you can get your competitive anger out quick then you can get back to it. With soccer, just as physical, you can’t retaliate at the same level on the field.
Q: If there is one person, living or dead, you could have dinner with, who would that be?
A: It must be Bob Crane. I love “Hogan’s Heroes.” When I was little, I got sick at the movie theater and had to go home. I was throwing up on the couch and my dad put on re-runs of “Hogan’s Heroes” and it helped get me through it. That show I try to watch every single night at 9 o’clock.